Tuesday, February 7, 2012

7 Media-Free Rainy or Snow Day Activities for Toddlers.

Buffalo is not known for it's over abundance of sunny 72 degree days. In most years, by second week of February we are usually sick of snow days and spring is no here in sight! We have a (mostly) media-free household, as far as the kids go, so I resist the urge to plop them I front of the tube when it is too cold or wet to go outside.

Craft: fabric paint & leaves

1) Craft, Craft, Craft! Seriously you'd be surprised how few supplies it takes to make pre-schoolers completely delighted. Paper, safety scissors, empty cereal boxes, yarn, pasta & glue. I have recently fallen in love with the wet-on-wet water color method that my kids have learned in school. The results are so amazing, and the Waldorf curriculum suggest only using one color at a time to start.

2) Bake Something: It just like crafting but you end up eating the results. Cookies are fun! My 32 month old daughter loves putting sun-drops on each one, which is something I always hated. Find a simple bread recipe that can stand up to lots of eager kneading and let them work it out with the dough. Besides it's nice to have an excuse to turn on the oven.

3) Read: I don't have to tell you the benefits. You can read to them or just near them (it sets a good example.) My mom says that she uses to read what ever she was reading to me in a sweet tone, including adult news papers & books etc. I imagine this would work until at least 3.

Not a chore for her!

4) Dance! (and sing): Sometime the little ones just need to work on their gross motor skills. And no amount of indoor quiet play will really make them happy. You could probably use a little booty shaking too, why not give in move the coffee, and pump up the jams. My suggestion is to play some hip shaking party music that you LOVE, because you will have to play it a few times!

5) Clean Something: While you and I may already know that cleaning is a chore, kids don't! Washing dishes is bubbly sensory delight! Put old socks on their hands to dust the base molding and while they are at it maybe the could look for the fairies' nest. I always feel like I'm getting over a bit, and I probably am. But they won't realize for years.

The product of free play

6) Leave the kids alone: (with in reason). Children will amuse themselves, and as long as you're toddler proofed and not far, its good for them. Free play is enormously valuable in early childhood development. Parents don't need to entertain or educate every minuet. It's impossible anyway. Give your toddler a little space for doing something on their own.

7) Go Outside: Yes this is a list of things to do when it's nasty outside, but kids really don't mind the wet or cold as much as you do. Dangerous wind chill or flooding excepted, as long as they have good gear they will likely brave more snow or rain than you'd expect. In fact, I realized that I was the one who needed new boots, the kids were already well equipped! They've yet to be conditioned to hate drips, puddles and cloudy skies. You may discover its not so bad out after all.

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day? I'd love to hear what other families do to beat the cabin fever!

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